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Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse - May, 2004

Planned Meetings

NIDA will host a two-day conference Blending Clinical Practice and Research: Forging Partnerships in the Great Lakes States to Enhance Drug Addiction Treatment at the Marriott Renaissance, Detroit, Michigan on September 27-28, 2004. This conference will bring together clinicians and researchers to examine cutting-edge scientific findings about drug abuse and addiction and their application to clinical practice.

Drs. Timothy Condon and Susan Weiss will chair a symposium entitled Aging and Substance Abuse: What Problems Lie Ahead? at the 2004 College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) Annual Conference to be held June 12-17, 2004 in San Juan, Puerto Rico The goal of the symposium is to stimulate interest in this area of research in order to prevent and/or ameliorate the medical, social, and financial consequences of continued or emerging substance abuse in aging baby boomers. Participants in this symposium will include Drs. Wilson Compton, Frederic Blow, Thomas Patterson, and David Oslin.

NIDA will hold a Grant Writing Workshop at the 2004 College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Approximately 50 early-career scientists will participate in learning how to apply for grants and the grant process at NIDA. Drs. Timothy Condon, Cindy Miner, David Shurtleff, and Mark Green from NIDA, and Dr. Scott Lukas, McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, will present. Dr. Suman Rao, OSPC, is chairing and coordinating this event.

NIDA will hold a Tutorials Workshop prior to the 2004 College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The presentations this year will be on (1) "Cultural Sensitivity, Human Subject Protection, Community Requirements, and Data Quality in Addictions Research" by Dr. Arlene Stiffman, (2) "Anti-Craving Medications: A Potential Target for Medication Development" by Dr. Charles O'Brien, (3) "Behavioral Pharmacology (pre-clinical and clinical)" by Dr. Linda Dykstra" and (4) "Effects of Drugs of Abuse on the Immune System, Including HIV Expression" by Dr. Jean Bidlack. Approximately 30 NIDA Director's Travel Awards will be issued to current NIDA fellows and trainees. Dr. Suman Rao, OSPC, is coordinating this annual workshop.

On the evening of June 13, 2004, Drs. David McCann, Jane Acri and Rik Kline will chair a CPDD workshop entitled: Integration of Toxicology- and PK-Related Testing into Early Medications Discovery: A Workshop for NIDA Medicinal Chemists. The specific aims of the workshop are to: (1) provide NIDA grantee chemists and their pharmacologist colleagues with a clear understanding of the methods used in NIDA's contract-based predictive toxicity testing and (2) to address important questions related to data interpretation. Speakers and the titles of their talks will be as follows: Dr. Arthur M. Brown (Chan Test, Inc.), "In Vitro Assays to Predict QT Prolongation"; Dr. Arthur Weissman (NovaScreen Biosciences Corp.), "In Vitro CYP Assays to Predict Potential for Drug-Drug Interactions"; Dr. James Terrill (NIDA DTR&D), "In Vitro Assays for the Early Assessment of Mutagenic Potential"; and Dr. Edwin J. Matthews (FDA, Center for Drug Evaluation Research), "In Silico Prediction of Drug Toxicity."

A NIDA sponsored meeting is planned for Fall 2004 entitled Cognitive and Affective Science Findings: Translation to New Behavioral Treatments for Drug Addiction. The objective of this meeting is to bring together researchers in the basic sciences and in behavioral treatment development in an effort to understand the mechanisms underlying basic behavioral, cognitive and affective processing in the context of drug addiction, and to identify methods for translating this knowledge into innovative and novel approaches for drug addiction treatment. The meeting is being organized and co-chaired by Drs. Mary Ann Stephens, Lisa Onken, and Joe Frascella, all of DTR&D.

Dr. Steven Grant, DTR&D, is participating in the organization of a meeting of the economics of substance abuse, tentatively entitled Drugs at Any Cost to be held in October 2004 in Bethesda, MD. Dr. Grant will be chairing a session on neuroeconomics.

Dr. Laurence Stanford, with colleagues from the NINDS, NIMH, NICHD, and NIBIB, is organizing a meeting to explore the potential of functional neuroimaging in understanding the development of the human brain and brain-behavior relationships. The meeting, entitled, Pediatric Functional Neuroimaging: a Trans-NIH Workshop, will be held on May 24th through 26th, 2004 in Bethesda.

On October 22, 2004, during the NIDA Mini-Convention that precedes the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Drs. Thomas Aigner (DNBR), Steven Grant (DTR&D), and Nathan Appel (DTR&D) will co-chair a symposium entitled Creative Directions in Imaging Drug Effects in Animals. The goal of this session is to present outstanding, state-of-the-art, examples of imaging research in animals that are now possible using Positron Emission Tomography (PET), Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Microscopy (MRI/MRM), and optical methods, since there has been a such remarkable evolution of functional biomedical imaging methods that may be applied to drug abuse research. The scheduled speakers are Drs. Susan Andersen (McLean Hospital), G. Allan Johnson (Duke University), Helene Benveniste (Brookhaven National Laboratories), and Mark Schnitzer (Stanford University).

National CTN Steering Committee Meetings are planned for the following dates and locations: July 22-23 in Washington, DC; and September 27-29 in Detroit, Michigan.

The CTN Data and Safety Monitoring Board will meet July 15-16, 2004 and November 16-17, 2004 in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The group will review the continuing progress of the CTN's protocols.

A Nicotine Dependence Workshop will be held October 1, 2004, in Detroit, Michigan.


Research Findings

Program Activities

Extramural Policy and Review Activities

Congressional Affairs

International Activities

Meetings and Conferences

Media and Education Activities

Planned Meetings


Staff Highlights

Grantee Honors

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